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Polish was chosen the HARDEST LANGUAGE in the world to learn... :D


rozumiemnic 8 | 3,807
4 Mar 2013 #1,141
it was most of the times easy to understand but sounds a little bit funny:)

well so does English when it is mashed up by a million learners of all levels; I suppose people are less used to that with Polish.
Quality Inn hot
4 Mar 2013 #1,142
Many people ask the question what is the most difficult language to learn? In that regard, many languages have been claimed to be the hardest language to learn, below are some candidates, for a good reason.

mylanguages-org.braincentury.com/difficult_languages.php
Lyzko
4 Mar 2013 #1,143
That's what I've been saying for an age, Quality! Language "difficulty" is as subjective as language "ease". It continues to amuse as well as annoy me a bit how those, among them, posters right here on PF, just love to say how "easy", not to mention practical, English is supposed to be, yet those same posters merrily botch up English grammar right and left:-)
Polson 5 | 1,771
5 Mar 2013 #1,144
Since English initially developed out of German why does it use a C instead of a K like all other Germanic languages?

English doesn't come from German. It's a germanic language (big difference here), and very latinized, with a great amount of French loanwords, among others.

The 'c' instead of 'k' comes very probably from the latinization of the language.

how "easy", not to mention practical, English is supposed to be, yet those same posters merrily botch up English grammar

English grammar? There is one? ;)
English is easy, come on.
If you want to say 'I am a nice boy', you just need these 5 words and there you go. Try that with Polish. There's no way you make a correct sentence out of these 5 words. Declinations and stuff are required, otherwise you're wrong.
toweliee78 - | 4
5 Mar 2013 #1,145
Polish is hard. theres all these accents and shhh chhh sounds.... i cant speak a word of it..
but look at arabic or indian or chines... how can you even read that?
Lyzko
5 Mar 2013 #1,146
The most I'm able to determine about Polish grammar is it's chaotic rather than mathematical "inconsistency" such as we typically encounter in German, Icelandic, Lithuananian, Hungarian or even Turkish. The latter have their declensional predictability, however maddeningly difficult they can be to internalize. Polish seems not to have much if any rhyme or reason for its morphological mutations, revealing only a superfical consistency among certain verb classes.

Polson, your example sentence "I am a nice boy." is unfortunately far from a useful instance. First of all, it barely touches the tip of that monster iceberg known as English orthography. Furthermore, you leave out the vagueries of English pronunciation in all it's multiple varities, or, the vast vocabulary of English with a dizzying array of synonyms, exceedingly diffilcult for all but the most talented foreign-born to grasp.

I still maintain that words such as "difficult" and "easy" are purely relative!
Polson 5 | 1,771
5 Mar 2013 #1,147
First of all, it barely touches the tip of that monster iceberg known as English orthography.

If the only difficulty in Polish was its orthography, I think I'd manage ;)

Furthermore, you leave out the vagueries of English pronunciation in all it's multiple varities

Of course, that's probably one of the only difficulties of English. It's random pronunciation.

I still maintain that words such as "difficult" and "easy" are purely relative!

I agree that there are probably no easy language. But still, there are not too difficult languages, and very difficult languages. English belongs to the first one, Polish to the latter.
Lyzko
5 Mar 2013 #1,148
I wonder yet how the average Pole finds English as a language to master competently compared with the average Anglo-Saxon who sets about the task of mastering Polish with equal competence. Frankly, there's MUCH more bravado on the Polish side, claiming with abandon that it is the foreigner who must struggle mightily in order to come to grips with Polish. They often simply don't ADMIT to the myriad difficulties of English because a matter of arrogance and stubborn pride. An Anglo much more likely to throw in the towel, so to speak, as the latter are somehow nor EXPECTED to master foreign languages (being grateful they can master their ownLOL).

It's about public relations, i.e. advertising, to a greater extent that it is about the actual difficulties of Polish.
Polson 5 | 1,771
5 Mar 2013 #1,149
I wonder yet how the average Pole finds English as a language to master competently compared with the average Anglo-Saxon who sets about the task of mastering Polish with equal competence.

Well, the average Pole will have to face a completely different (but rather easy I'd say) vocabulary (a sort of Germanic French ;)), and the 'anarchistic' pronunciation of English, while the grammar shouldn't be too much of a problem.

An average Anglo-Saxon would have to learn the pronunciation of Polish, and manage to pronounce it, then try to learn some of a quite difficult vocabulary, and the biggest part is yet to come, try to get the basics of Polish grammar, which can get pretty painful ;)
Lyzko
5 Mar 2013 #1,150
Well stated, Polson!! I'd have to agree then that we're faced once more with the proverbial 'toss up': English chaos vs. Polish chaosLOL

Winner take all ^^
Polson 5 | 1,771
5 Mar 2013 #1,151
Hehe, I'd still go with Polish for being the hardest ;P
Of course, being French, English was much easier to learn. Polish is....arrrgh, know what I mean?
For instance, to take. Prendre in French. In Polish, it's either 'brać', or...'wziąć', WTF! ^^
Anyway, getting late, I'd better go, see you later, Lyzko ;)
toweliee78 - | 4
5 Mar 2013 #1,152
Polish seems hard, but at least it's in a latin alphabet... russian is harder to an english speaker for that reason alone
Lyzko
5 Mar 2013 #1,153
Not so sure I agree, toweliee.

First off, the Cyrillic alphabet can be learned in a few hours of solid instruction time from a solid Russian native who knows their stuff!! That's at least how it was for me. Russian also has one fewer cases than Polish and relatively consistent case endings. Aspects in Russian are about the same as in Polish, only it's the verb classes in Russian that drive a person to distraction:-) Verbs of motion are quite, quite similar to Polish. It's about even, I'd say. This is coming from someone who had only a semester of Russian in grad school. Polish took me much longer to acquire even the confidence of rudimnentary conversation.
pam
5 Mar 2013 #1,154
First off, the Cyrillic alphabet can be learned in a few hours of solid instruction time from a solid Russian native who knows their stuff!!

This is coming from someone who had only a semester of Russian in grad school.

This is coming from a linguistics boffin!
Lyzko, we're not all as adept as you!
I would say though, that Polish is easier for a Russian to learn.
My lodger is Russian, and has never learned Polish, but she can understand basic words, simply because they are so similar to Russian ones.
Russian has far more in common with Polish than English, so I'm sure Polish would be easier for a Russian to learn rather than an English person.
Ziemowit 13 | 4,204
5 Mar 2013 #1,155
Polish seems hard, but at least it's in a latin alphabet... russian is harder to an english speaker for that reason alone

First off, the Cyrillic alphabet can be learned in a few hours of solid instruction time from a solid Russian native who knows their stuff!!

It seems you are both right. The Cyrillic set of graphems is easy to learn and it is almost an exact phonetic representation of sounds spoken in Russian, yet it is a set of symbols which seems strange and difficult to anyone having been accustomed to the Latin alphabet all their life. I myself was taught Russian at school, so I find it same thing either to listen to Russian or to read it, but those who were not, as most of the younger generation in Poland now, find it indeed strange that they are able to understand quite a lot of stuff that people speak to them in Russia, but they are dumb blind to everything that is written in Russian in the streets..
Polson 5 | 1,771
5 Mar 2013 #1,156
the Cyrillic alphabet can be learned in a few hours

I think you're right. Never learnt but was curious and checked a couple of times. It's not like Chinese and its thousand different symbols. I don't think this is the hardest part of Russian.

I'm sure Polish would be easier for a Russian to learn rather than an English person.

I'm pretty sure about that too. As Italian would be easier for a French person than -let's say- Finnish.
I have Polish lessons in a two-people group every week and the other person is Russian, and she's already almost fluent, even tho she spoke no Polish at all when she arrived here.
pam
5 Mar 2013 #1,157
I have Polish lessons in a two-people group every week and the other person is Russian, and she's already almost fluent, even tho she spoke no Polish at all when she arrived here.

Sickening isn't it!
Oh well, I suppose it will only take me the rest of my life to have any degree of fluency :(
Polson 5 | 1,771
5 Mar 2013 #1,158
Oh well, I suppose it will only take me the rest of my life to have any degree of fluency :(

Don't tell me, if I can manage to make a correct sentence once in my life, I'd be very happy ;)
Ziemowit 13 | 4,204
5 Mar 2013 #1,159
I suppose it will only take me the rest of my life to have any degree of fluency :

A carefully chosen method for learning a language, tailored to your preferences, may save you a lot of time and effort. It is then recommended to read a (some) book(s) on methods of acquiring the foreign language before you actually start to do it.

For example, I cannot start learning a new one without reading the formal description of its phonetics first, and then making some preliminary contrastive exercises. Another thing that may facilitate your way to the near-fluency level is a sort of contemplating foreign language patterns, and in particular there, where they differ "in philosphy" from the pattern of your own language.
Tim Bucknall 7 | 98
5 Mar 2013 #1,160
Portugese is damn difficult, supposedly as hard as Chinese.
I had my first conversation in Polish on thursday, then i floated back home on a cloud!
now i've found someone who's happy to talk to me in Polish the future looks bright for improving my skills

Polish just looks intimidating because of all those consonant clusters. the fact that in the past i'd attempted to learn Czech and Russian (but had no chance to use them in England so didn't keep learning) did give me a small head start
pam
5 Mar 2013 #1,161
contemplating foreign language patterns, and in particular there, where they differ "in philosphy" from the pattern of your own language.

This is probably the hardest aspect i have to deal with in learning Polish.
If i've understood you correctly, you mean thinking how something should be said in Polish, and how it differs from how you would say it in English. What i call putting my Polish head on!

Sometimes the pattern mimics English, but more often than not it doesn't.
Having said that, the same could be said for learning any new language, not just Polish.
Lyzko
5 Mar 2013 #1,162
No comparison, Polson!! Hanju characters - a veritable LIFETIME of learning and study in order to master the very minimum eight-thousand plus ideographs for even a minimally high level discussion, let alone reading and writing on a commensurate level. EXCRUCIATINGLY effort-ridden, I'm told, even for native Mandarin speakers:-) Monastic concentration and focus therefore required for foreigners, and nothing less!

As far as Portuguese is concerned, yes, I've heard that it's the tenses that kill you, and that's about itLOL Even more involved than French or Spanish, apparently. I know conversational French, Italian and survival Spanish. Portuguese I've never tried to learn seriously however.
Wroclaw Boy
7 Mar 2013 #1,163
Polish is hard. theres all these accents and shhh chhh sounds.... i cant speak a word of it..

Really TommyG, when you used to post on livechat your Polish seemed quite good to me.
Lyzko
7 Mar 2013 #1,164
I find Polish to be easier to speak than to write, actually. Perhaps that's because my writing's been more forcibly corrected over the years than my speaking:-)
FUZZYWICKETS 8 | 1,883
10 Mar 2013 #1,165
of course. speaking can be done in fragments, mistakes get overlooked or not heard and frankly speaking, sometimes people simply aren't paying that close attention. with writing, if someone's actually reading it, they're looking right at it and the mistakes are sitting right in front of them to see.

i always pushed my students to write because AAAAALLLL the mistakes would come out. people find all their little tricky ways of avoiding their weaknesses in speech but with writing.....hoohooohoohaahaaahaahaaa........there's nowhere to hide!
Envyme 10 | 28
10 Mar 2013 #1,166
That's good to hear. The languages that I would never want to learn are the most difficult, and the ones I either know or would like to know are simple.
Lyzko
10 Mar 2013 #1,167
What, pray tell, do you consider "difficult" and what do you consider "easy"? I've always contended there's no such thing, especially since the supposed "ease" of a language like English seems to give many 'License to Mangel':-) The apparent "difficulty" of languages such as Polish, German, French, Russian, Hungarian etc.. seems to give would-be learners pause to stop and think before committing. The spoken quality of dedicated foreigners who in fact master those languages is generally much higher than that of those who claim to find English a cinch, undemanding, and therefore "easy".

No pain, no gain, that's really the motto here!
Lyzko
11 Mar 2013 #1,168
Misspelling:-) "mangLE".
So sorry!

As we complain about Polish grammar, even for native speakers, English spelling can sometimes get the better of those of us momentarily asleep at the switchLOL

I speak only for myself, of course ^^
scottie1113 7 | 898
11 Mar 2013 #1,169
The apparent "difficulty" of languages such as Polish, German, French, Russian, Hungarian

French is easy. I don't think it belongs in this list.
Lyzko
11 Mar 2013 #1,170
Easy for some perhaps, not so simple for others! Again, this proves my point time after time. Now somebody else'll post a riposte to your post that Polish doesn't belong on the list, as it's sooooo much "easier" than, say, Chinese, Greek or Arabic etc...

See my point? Whether a language is deemed easy or hard is purely relative:-) You're right, at the same time, you're wrong.


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